Top Ad Servers (2018)

Artyom Dogtiev

Updated: August 16, 2019

The modern online advertising market is a multi-billion industry that grew from $43 billion in 2013 and is being forecasted to reach $66 billion in 2018. It consists of several key players and technical solutions, namely – advertisers, publishers, SSP (stands for Supply Side Platform), DSP (Demand Side Platform), ad networks and advertising agencies. In the intersection of all of them lies the crucial component of ad servers.

In this guide we review the ad server space in detail covering the major types of different ad serving and ad mediation platforms ranging from general players to specialist mobile and video ad platforms.

Table of Contents

Ad Server Definition

What is an ad server?

What is an ad server? An ad server is an advertising software hosted on a server to manage online ad campaigns and used by publishers, advertisers, ad agencies, and ad networks. Ad server software defines what ad to display at what specific time frame and on what website or mobile app. In addition, it also collects data on ads performance (number of impressions, clicks, CTR ratio and more) for all parties to use, as well as defines targeting, performs ad budget control, and frequency capping. A publisher ad server helps web and mobile publishers to earn money with their inventory. Selling ads on their website or inside mobile allow publishers to generate revenue from the content they produce, while keeping that content free for their audiences.

What is an ad server in plain English

Let’s look under the hood of an ad server and answer the question – what does it do? The sequence of events of a digital ad serving process looks like this:

  • a user arrives at a website or opens a mobile app
  • suitable to specific criteria ads are requested from the Ad Server. Such criteria may include, the date and time of day, the dimensions of the ad slot, the geo location, user device OS and more
  • the Ad Server selects which ads should be displayed based on the criteria
  • the selected ads are returned to the website or mobile app for the user to see.
  • the Ad Server tracks each time the ad gets clicked and stores this data to provide analytics to the Ad Server user.

Now, there are several types of ad server companies, as well as several ways to split them into two major categories.

First Party vs Third Party Ad Servers

First-Party ad server is the one that is hosted on a publisher’s server to serve advertisers ads that it needs to display on its website(s) or inside mobile app(s). It helps to simplify and streamline the process of selling ad slots to advertisers. In times when no direct ad campaigns (sold directly to the publisher) are being run, the server defines what ads from a partner ad network or another ad server to display inside a publisher’s inventory.

Third Party ad server is used by advertisers and ad agencies to store and manage advertising code, as well as to deliver, track and analyze ad campaigns run on multiple publishers websites. It helps advertisers to verify the validity of data provided by publishers for impressions and clicks they delivered. Yet another use of a 3rd party ad server is to allow advertisers to run A/B testing to optimize their ads campaigns.

Hosted vs Self-Hosted Ad Servers

Hosted ad server is the one that is hosted for a client by an ad server company. Such servers don’t requite any technical knowledge for how to run it on a client’s side and wholly rely on an ad server professional expertise. They don’t requite installation, provide technical support, can be updated automatically

Self-hosted ad server is the one that is hosted on a client’s own online server. It provides higher level of control over user’s data, as well as higher level of software customization. Obviously in a contrast with a Hosted ad server, this one does require technical knowledge for how to install it, as well as how to maintain it properly.

Open Source Ad Servers

Open Source server is a free ad server system that enables publishers, ad networks and advertisers to perform a number of operations with ads. Specifically – serve ads on websites and in apps, as well as collect data for impressions, clicks and conversions. It’s capable to manage and run ad campaigns for multiple advertisers, as well as from an ad network or ad exchange and perform other functions typical for a Third Party ad server. Essentially, the only difference between such server and a Third Party one is that the former provides its services for free.

The next significant division for ad servers comes from a type of devices ads are being displayed on – a computer or mobile device (a smartphone or tablet).

Mobile Ad Servers

Mobile ad server is a web-based self-serving software solution for advertisers to manage their mobile ads they display inside apps or on mobile web. Among pros that they bring up for advertisers: they allow to have a control over bids and budgets, help with campaigns scheduling, provide sophisticated targeting, as well as guarantee transparency in ad campaigns analysis and valuable insights to make data-driven decisions.

Video Ad Servers

Video ad server is an advertising software hosted on a server to manage video ads. It handles video ads displaying on multiple websites or in apps to specific audience, as well as ads performance tracking and reporting to advertisers.

Ad Serving Systems

Also there are several core technologies and principles that make today’s digital advertising tick, let’s walk through the major ones to get an insight look into ad servers work. These include the following:


Waterfall is the system of prioritizing ad networks ads that a publisher displays in his desktop or mobile inventory one at a time. It implies defining what ad network should be the first to serve ads from and listing in a particular order all the rest ad networks a publisher works with. Due to the lack of competition between ad networks in such system, publishers can’t maximize their inventory revenue potential. The arriving of such system successor suggested developing programmatic advertising platforms.


Programmatic advertising is based on using software to buy digital advertising, in a contrast with traditional ways that involved human interaction such as issuing manual insertion orders, pricing negotiations and such. It brings higher efficiency to the whole digital advertising ecosystem, using software algorithms it’s possible to match advertisers needs and publishers inventory much more efficiently.

Real Time Bidding/ RTB

Real-time bidding is one of the aspects of programmatic advertising, it’s an online auction for advertisers to bid for placing their ads on desktop and mobile publishers inventory. Those auctions are often facilitated by ad exchanges or supply-side platforms.

Header Bidding 

Header-bidding was originally developed for a desktop online advertising and later was adopted to mobile advertising as well. In a contrast with Waterfall Ads, this system implies all ad networks that a publisher works with to compete with their ad offers for a specific ad slot publisher needs to fill in. A competitive nature of such system forces advertisers to increase prices to win that publisher’s slot and hence helps the publisher to maximize his eCPMs.

Ad Mediation

Ad Mediation is a web based software solution for publishers to participate in a real-time auction based selling. Its algorithm is designed to choose what specific ad network(s) to send requests to deliver the highest fill rate for publisher’s ad slots. The benefit of ad mediation for website and mobile app publishers comes from using of a single SDK, with which publishers can set priority for serving ad networks demand, according to their specific eCPM, geography and other parameters. Also, with ad mediation solution, publishers are in a position to force advertisers to compete over their inventory and so they can significantly increase their profit.

SSP (Supply Side Platform)

A supply side platform helps to manage inventory for publishers, faciliates them to monetize it and often also includes ad serving functionality. Via advertising networks or ad exchanges, SSPs are connected with the demand side of the online advertising equation – DSPs (stands for demand-side platforms). Essentially SSP is the tool for publishers to offer impressions on their websites or inside their apps to as many advertisers as possible and therefore maximize their revenue potential.

Now, once we’ve covered the ground for online advertising industry major definitions, let’s walk through the major advertising servers operating on the market.

Note: the companies on the list we’ve compiled below are not in any priority order

Our list of Ad Servers:


AppNexus is a New York based internet technology company, founded in 2007. It provides a platform for real-time advertising across multiple devices including mobile. The platform’s ad server solution is designed to supply and demand in the form of a Real Time Bidding marketplace, and for advertisers this means they will be able to find the right audiences at the right time for their campaigns to enable better performance. The platform’s architecture enables highly scalable ad serving, prioritizing direct deals for mobile ad networks.

  • Key features: ML-driven highly scalable ad serving capabilities, Yieldex Analytics revenue forecasting, multiple screen campaigns running, customizable & extensive targeting and reporting
  • Ad formats: Banners, Rich Media, Text, Video
  • Platforms support: Android, IOS, Mobile Web

An Ad Server for the Programmatic World from Appnexus

Facebook Audience Network

Facebook Audience Network is the extension of the Facebook Ads platform on mobile apps and web, launched in 2014, to reach audiences outside of the Facebook app and its website. The Facebook ad server allows advertisers to reach people that are registered on Facebook off the platform without compromising on targeting precision and achieve one or more of the following objectives – brand awareness, traffic, conversion, app install, product catalog sales, video views, and reach.

  • Key features: powered by Facebook, high targeting precision, 40% of top 500 mobile apps are integrated with the system, connects apps with real people that keep a profile on Facebook
  • Ad formats: banner, carousel, intersticial, native
  • Platforms support: iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Unity, tvOS

Facebook Audience Network

Google Ad Manager

Google Ads (previously known as DoubleClick or DFP) is the Google’s SDK for mobile advertising, compatible with Android, iOS and Windows Phone 8. With the streamlined APIs everyone has come to expect from Google, this SDK features all ad formats, refined to fit any kind of mobile application. The ad server is available to customers of AdMob and DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) customers.

  • Key features: powered by Google, suitable for both local and global ads, near 100% fill rate, Cost-Per-Click and Cost-Per-Call model based, comprehensive reporting, quick and robust support
  • Ad formats: display ads, search ads, app ads, video ads
  • Platforms support: iOS, Android, WP7

Google Ad Manager website screenshot

AdMob by Google

AdMob is an ad server from Google for more than 1 million mobile app publishers to monetize their mobile inventory worldwide. It features the Google’s best-in-class ad technology, with its proven records to help millions app developers to generate revenue with ads in their apps, cross-platform capability and tight integration with Google Play services.

  • Key features: Powered by Google’s ad tech, Universal App Campaigns, easy automation, free & unlimited analytics with Firebase, cross-platform capability, connects with over 40 third-party ad networks
  • Ad formats: Native, Rich Media, Rewarded Video
  • Platforms support: Android, IOS, Unity, Cocos

AdMob by Google website screenshot

Oath Ad Server

Oath Ad Server is an ad server for publishers from over 74 countries worldwide that features advanced advertising management and serving capabilities across all marketing channels, leveraging the Oath (former Yahoo) hardware and software infrastructure. The ad server helps advertisers to run ad campaigns using various ad formats – display, video, mobile, and rich media ads with sales and utilize business analytics tools developed by Oath engineers.

  • Key features: powered by Oath: A Verizon company, seamless programmatic management, advanced mobile targeting
  • Ad formats: Banners, Rich Media, Video
  • Platforms support: Android, IOS

Oath Ad Server website screenshot

Epom Ad Server

Epom Ad Server is an all-in-one white label ad serving and management solution for advertisers, publishers and ad networks. Founded in 2010, Epom operates worldwide with its headquarters based in Kiev, Ukraine. Epom Ad Server’s real-time bidding platform provides publishers with a simply way to launch and manage advertising campaigns across mobile web and in-app platforms, and provides access to over 20 mobile specific DSP partners. The company’s UniMobile technology, for non-mobile optimized web pages, tracks visitor device models and displays ads customized to the device size.

  • Key Features: Real-time bidding, publishers inventory quality control, real-time stats, precise targeting options
  • Ad formats: Banners, Interstitial, Rich Media
  • Platforms: iOS and Android.

Epom Ad Server website screenshot


Appmediation ad server hosts one of the most effective app monetization solutions in the industry with the best optimization technology. It provides app developers with a single simple SDK that’s super easy to integrate and requires no further updates or continuous attention. The Appmediation team is laser-focused on helping app developers to maximize the potential of their inventory and make sure they deliver seamless and uninterrupted user experience.

  • Key features: using the industry best performing formats, advanced ad optimization tech, premium demand networks
  • Ad formats: Banners, Interstitial, Rewarded Video, Video
  • Platforms support: Android, iOS, Unity

Appmediation website screenshot


Mintegral is an AI-driven, programmatic and interactive ad platform. It provides mobile user acquisition and monetization solutions to worldwide brands and mobile developers so they can reach their marketing goals. With a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region, Mintegral offers full stack products and one-stop mobile marketing and analytics services, from supply-side to demand-side, including Advertiser Self-serve, DSP, SSP, DMP and Creative Lab.

  • Key features: AI-powered, extensive set of targeting options, high transparency, an easy 4-step ad campaign launch process
  • Ad formats: rewarded video, native video, interstitial video, playable ads
  • Platforms support: Android, HTML5, IOS, Mobile Web, Windows Phone

Mintegral website screenshot


Youmi is a China, Guangzhou headquarter based, leading mobile marketing platform. With its ad server it aims to help advertisers engage users in a smart way,  Youmi is also committed to help the other part of the digital advertising equation, its publisher partners (app developers, media buyers, affiliates as well as ad networks) reach desired revenue level.

  • Key features: in-house AI techniques, partners with 10,000 global advertisers, 600,000 publishers, targeting for 200+ countries and regions
  • Ad formats: Banners, Rich Media, Text
  • Platforms support: Android, iOS, Mobile Web

How to market mobile games in China?


ArmorAds is the mobile Ad Network by Kimia Group. ArmorAds ad server is a proprietary data-driven solution for advertisers. With its anti-fraud solution, it helps its partners to achieve constant ROI gain and scalability, while protecting against revenue loss and brand damage caused by fraudulent practices.

  • Key features: Pro-Tech fraud protection technology, premier optimization, intelligent traffic routing, global reach with local focus
  • Ad formats: Banners, Native, Rich Media
  • Platforms support: Android, IOS

ArmorAds website screenshot

Propeller Ads

Propeller Ads is a global advertising network with 1+ billion online users per month. With its ad server, it offers a range of monetization solutions for websites, mobile, software, games, social, and 404 pages. Propeller Ad’s mediation solution combines campaigns from thousands of ad networks and direct advertisers to reach a global mobile audience and optimize revenue for publisher inventory. The platform’s automatic optimization takes charge of campaign selection and performance tweaks to ensure the highest revenue.

  • Key Features: Automatic optimization, video ads
  • Formats: banner, onclick ads, direct links, dialog ads, mobile interstitial and video
  • Platforms: iOS, Android and Mobile Web.

PropellerAds website screenshot


SmartyAds is a programmatic advertising company. Its ad server provides multitude of options for advertisers, including multi-channel advertising via mobile, video, display and native. The platform’s programmatic ad technologies include CPM bidding, Big Data analysis and ML algorithms to power digital ad campaign performance. SmartyAds pays close attention to keeping companies brand on the platform safe, as well as ensuring their ads viewability.

  • Key Features: multi-channel advertising, programmatic, ML algorithms
  • Formats: banner, mobile, videos ads, rich media
  • Platforms: Android, iOS

SmartyAds website screenshot


TubeMogul is a global advertising platform from Adobe for brands and agencies to plan, buy, measure and optimize their ad campaigns. The major feature that sets TubeMogul apart from other platforms is that its programmatic sophistication allows marketers to run ad campaigns across digital screens, TV and out-of-home channels with a single dashboard.

  • Key features: global reach to run ad campaigns in over 70 countries, platform transparency, TubeMogul Academy advertising education solution for marketers
  • Ad formats: video
  • Platforms support: Android, iOS

TubeMogul website screenshot

Unity Ads

Unity Ads is an ad server for mobile game developers to monetize their games with Unity Technologies. It enables them to monetize their entire player base, via ads that are native to Unity-based games. Thanks to its smooth integration, Unity ads allow game developers to target players that are most likely to be interested to try a particular game. Also it allows game developers to increase LTV (lifetime value) of their player base.

  • Key features: mobile game monetization focused, built-in to the Unity Engine, simple setup
  • Ad formats: Banners, Interstitial, Video, Rewarded Video
  • Platforms support: Android, iOS

Unity Ads website screenshot


Rubicon Project is a digital advertising technology company. It offers a global exchange system for advertising, it connects ad sellers and ad buyers worldwide. Rubicon Project’s ad server helps sellers (publishers) to get connected with premium buyers, showcase their inventory in a dedicated storefront, respond to a buyer’s RFPs and more, sellers (advertisers) can reach desired audience from a broad spectrum and from all over the world..

  • Key features: 60,000+ app publishers, 1 million+ websites, 900,000 advertisers bid for publishers inventory
  • Ad formats: Native, Pre-roll & Mid-roll & Post-roll video, Vertical Video, Reward Video, Outstream
  • Platforms support: Android, IOS

Rubicon website screenshot


Pubmatic is a publisher-focused programmatic advertising company. It provides publishers with a single dashboard to view their inventory, simplifies ad serving workflows to increase efficiency for campaign creation, inventory management, channel configuration and user access controls. With Pubmatic ad server, publishers can optimize demand channels, get access to enterprise-level analytics and automatic integration with all leading DSPs.

  • Key features: 800 million + monthly unique users, 55 billion + daily ad impressions, quality controls & compliance, automated buying & selling
  • Ad formats: Banner, Intersticial, Native, Rich Media (MRAID 2.0)
  • Platforms support: Android, IOS

Pubmatic website screenshot


MoPub is one of the world’s largest ad servers for mobile developers to generate revenue. Founded in 2010, by former Google and AdMob engineers Nafis Jamal, Bryan Atwood and Jim Payne; MoPub was acquired by Twitter in 2013. MoPub Marketplace  is the leading mobile in-app RTB exchange, the platform programmatically connects buyers to publishers around the globe. Marketers, agencies, and ATDs can access this supply through the 180+ demand-side platforms (DSPs) that work with MoPub.

  • Key features: reach – 1.5 billion unique devices, 450 billion monthly app ad requests, connects 50,000+ mobile apps and 180 DSPs, supply quality control, provides access the Twitter users audience
  • Ad formats: video, native, native video, opt-in video, rich media, display
  • Platforms support: iOS, Android

MoPub website screenshot


Stack is a programmatic ad mediation solution for mobile apps. Founded in early 2015, by Pavel Golubev and Natalie Portier, Appodeal takes a publisher-centric approach with its supply-side platform for mobile apps. The Appodeal’s ad server allows advertisers to run cross-promotional campaigns for their own apps and manage direct deals with advertisers. It provides an opportunity to set up campaigns across direct and mediated ad networks to find the highest bids. The ad server supports iOS, Google Play and Amazon platforms.

  • Key features: direct campaigns, cross promotion, sophisticated customization, raw data reports, price floors, backfill.
  • Ad formats: Rewarded video, rich interstitial, video, MREC, banner, and native.
  • Platforms support: iOS, Android, Unity and Corona.

Stack website screenshot


Smaato Logo
Smaato is a global real-time bidding ad server for mobile publishers and app developers. Founded in 2005, with headquarters in San Francisco, Smaato offers a supply-side platform for managing ad inventory, and the world’s largest independent mobile ad exchange for dealing with multiple ad networks. Smaato connects publishers and app developers to over 450 demand partners, offering publishers global reach. Meanwhile, its Dynamic Demand technology allows for an auction to be held within the ad server while still accessing direct, indirect and programmatic channels to drive more revenue.

  • Key Features: free for publishers and app developers
  • Ad formats:  interstitial video, rich media, VAST, native, and other standard display formats
  • Platforms support: iOS, Android

Smaato: Why Integrate The Smaato SDK?


OpenX programmatic advertising platform that offers ad server for publishers. It was founded in 2007 by Damon Reeve and Scott Switzer. It empowers them with the tool to sell, manage and deliver their inventory across multiple formats and screen sizes. The system has intuitive UI and provides publishers with advanced pacing controls and in-house marketplace quality team to ensure safety. They can rely on a dedicated 24/7/365 support team, and an OpenX Community of over 1,500+ users.

  • Key features: integration with OpenX Ad Exchange, highly customizable, a header bidding line item support, SSP, yield optimization
  • Ad formats: banner, native, interstitial, rich media and video
  • Platforms: Android, iOS

OpenX website screenshot


Fyber is a leading mobile advertising technology company with headquarters in Berlin. In 2015, attracted by Falk Realtime’s SSP and ad serving technology, Fyber acquired the ad tech company. In 2016 the company launched Fyber Open Mediation, a program enabling app developers and publishers to work directly with a wide variety of quality ad network partners. With its focus on the world of freemium apps, Fyber’s ad mediation service provides single integration for direct deals with major ad networks and customized delivery of ads to user segments.

  • Key Features: Open mediation, audience segmentation.
  • Ad formats: Banners, Interstitial, Native
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Unity and Adobe Air.

Fyber website screenshot


InMobi is a cloud-based mobile advertising platform for enterprise marketers. Among multiple solutions for advertisers and publishers, its as server, the InMobi Mediation Platform, powered by AerServ, helps publishers to maximize their ad revenue with a unified auction across multiple demand sources. The solution empowers app marketers with the best of header bidding to mobile apps. InMobi Mediation Platform sports transparency and provides online marketers with comprehensive reporting.

  • Key Features: 2x lower latency with simultaneous auction on dynamic bids from buyers, transparency, global demand support, diverse choice of formats
  • Ad formats: Banners, Interstitial, Rewarded Video
  • Platforms: iOS, Android

InMobi website screenshot


ironSource builds monetization, engagement, analytics and discovery tools for app developers, device manufacturers, mobile carriers and advertisers. The company was founded in Tel-Aviv, Israel in 2010 by Nethanel Shadmi, Omer Kaplan, Itay Milrad, Tamir Carmi, Roi Milrad, Tomer Bar Zeev, Tomer Bar Zeev, Gil Shoham, Arnon Harish and Eyal Milrad. The company ad server hosts a suite of solutions for app developers and advertisers  for app monetization, user acquisition, brand awareness, engagement and ad mediation. Via the ironSource Aura solution, ironSource partners with OEMs and carriers to help them enhance their relationships with customers.

  • Key Features: interactive ad units by Playworks Studio, leading video SSP
  • Formats: rewarded video, native display, offerwall, interstitial
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Unity and Adobe Air.

ironSource website screenshot


Tapdaq is a platform for developers for ad mediation and cross promotion. Founded in UK in 2013 by Nick Reffitt, Dom Bracher andTed Nash. The Tapdaq ad server provides a sophisticated ad mediation solution driven by Machine Learning algorithms, based on collecting data on each ad impression, as well as revenue for each ad network, plugged into the system. All this data allows the system to increase app publishers revenue.

  • Key Features: ML based ad mediation, rapid ad serving, automated eCPM values.
  • Ad formats: static and video interstitials, rewarded video and banners
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Unity

About Tapdaq


Sizmek is the world’s largest independent ad server company founded in 1999. Its AI-powered platform helps advertisers to gain insights within their data across the 5 key dimensions of predictive marketing—campaigns, consumers, context, creative, and cost. Sizmek provides resources at a global scale and allow advertisers to combine dynamic creative, coupled with predictive AI – to deliver impressions that deliver high ROI. Artificial Intelligence algorithms are also applied by Sizmek to help advertisers to plan, buy, execute, and measure campaigns with laser-precision.

  • Key Features: omnichannel marketing solution – mobile, display, rich media, video and social, AI
  • Ad formats: HTML5 Scroll Reveal, 360 Image Reveal, and Out-Stream Pushdown
  • Platforms support: iOS, Android

Sizmek website screenshot


AdButler is BC, Canada based ad serving company that since 2004 helps publishers of all sizes to monetize their inventory and advertisers to find the right audience for their products and services. With AdButler users get to use the industry fastest performing ad code, provided with all ad formats to choose from, real-time reporting and white-label interface. Among the company’s clients are HP, Microsoft, IBM, AllState, DELTA, Shell, LinkedIn.

  • Key Features: fastest ad code, simple UI, video ad-serving platform (VAST 2.0), header bidding, affordable prices, text ad blocks support, white label interface, 
  • Tagline: Ad serving — simplified.
  • Platforms: iOS, Android and Mobile Web.

AdButler website screenshot


AdGlare is an ad server company that offers high scalability to serve up to 1 billion ad requests monthly. It has offices in US, Europe and Asia, AdGlare sports minimum design for its online dashboard but maximum productivity, collaborative capabilities for users to use its services via permission-based accounts for teams.

  • Key Features: keywords targeting, conversion tracking, frequency caps, browser & OS targeting, campaign tiers, exclude lists for targeting
  • Tagline: Ad Server. Simplified.
  • Platforms: iOS, Android and Mobile Web.

AdGlare website screenshot


Spotx is a privately-held global video ad serving platform. It empowers publishers monetization with ad management, campaign management and ad trafficking, allowing them to manage traditional direct sold, programmatic direct, and private marketplace deals using a single platform.

  • Key Features: transparency, multiple video ad support
  • Tagline: Online Video Advertising Platform
  • Platforms: iOS, Android and Mobile Web.

Spotx website screenshot


Ezoic is a monetization platform for publishers. It provides publishers with automated website intelligence for ads, content, layouts, and more. All these tools are focused on helping publishers to acquire more engaged visitors and consequently generate more revenue. Ezoic ad mediation solution allows publishers to work with their exciting ad partners more efficiently, easily link up your current ad networks, ad exchanges, native ads and header bidding partners to the Ezoic platform.

  • Key Features: Ad Mediation, Big Data analysis
  • Tagline: An End-To-End Platform For Publishers
  • Platforms: iOS, Android

Ezoic website screenshot


Revive is a free, open source ad serving software for publishers, ad networks and advertisers. With an easy to use interface, it allows them to serve ads on websites, in apps, and in video players, and collect detailed statistics about impressions, clicks and conversions. As well as manage and run ad campaigns for several advertisers, from ad exchanges and at networks at the same time. Revive allows publishers to define rules for delivery of campaigns and ads, including frequency capping, URL targeting, geo-targeting. On top of that the platform provides tracking and reporting on campaign performance, including impressions, clicks, click-through rates, conversion rates, revenue, eCPM, and conversion details, like basket value and number of items purchased.

  • Key Features: software and web hosted edition, free
  • Tagline: The world’s most popular free, open source ad serving system
  • Platforms: iOS, Android and Mobile Web.

Revive website screenshot


Adzerk is an ad server software development company. It empowers advertisers engineers with APIs to quickly design, build and launch customized First-Party advertising server within a couple weeks. With Adzerk businesses can quickly integrate ads into their websites or mobile apps. Adzerk’s customer list includes Fortune 500 brands, public companies, and unicorn startups, including LiveNation/TicketMaster, TradingView, imgur, Strava, and more.

  • Key Features: native ads-focused, sponsored listings, RTB integrations, server-side platform, hosting on own domain, Management, Native Ad and Reporting API.
  • Tagline: Build and launch an ad server in just weeks using APIs
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Web

Adzerk website screenshot


Sovrn is an advertising technology company that provides Meridian solution – an ad server for publishers. The company’s mission is to help publishers to increase their revenue, get insights for their audience and comprehensive reporting on their ad campaigns, as well as acquire more knowledge about effective monetization. Meridian ad server provides a suite of advertising tools for display, mobile and video advertising.

  • Key Features: header bidding, VPAID and VAST video support, OnScroll InView ads, integration with all major advertising buyer worldwide
  • Tagline: Insights, audience access and advertising solutions that publishers can profit from.
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Web

Sovrn website screenshot


Amobee is a premium mobile ad network and technology company. It offers an ad server, as well as a wide range of advertising/monetization solutions for advertisers, developers/publishers and organizations. Amobee primary offering, PULSE, involves the latest mobile advertising technology including a secure and industry-designed mobile advertising platform and also incorporates a wealth of analytics, reporting and campaign management tools. Amobee also offers a downloadable ad SDK for smaller scale in-app advertising, which is compatible with all major mobile OS and features built-in rich media support.

  • Key Features: rich media support (including 3D mobile ads and Immersive Mobile Video), Asia and Israel among their key markets, multiple trading models support
  • Tagline: The company defining digital advertising
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Blackberry

Amobee website screenshot

Final Thoughts

Over the course of the last 3-4 years, the mobile advertising industry has called for publishers and advertisers to embrace automation. Programmatic spend is up and rich media and native ad formats are in demand. Mobile ad servers now have an incentive to innovate – to move with the market and meet publisher needs. The next frontier for programmatic advertising is using big data and Machine Learning algorithms that it fuels to analyze ad campaigns performance, connect advertisers and publishers like it was not possible before. The introduction of European GDPR regulations has brought a new level of responsibility for all parts of the digital advertising equation. An ad server technology aside, respecting of people’s right to be able to control their digital data is what all online ad companies should respect and embrace. We hope this guide helps you make an informed choice to pick up the right company to work with to drive more revenue for your business.

If you think there is an ad server that should be included above, get listed now.